Material making and analysis of engine crankshaft

The report outlines the details of material and making process selection exercise completed on a typical car engine unit camshaft. Camshaft being one of the most crucial engine components requires careful selection of material. Moreover, due to its specialized operation, the mandatory geometry is relatively complex and certain advancements in mechanical properties are required to be launched during making. This demands and rather complicated manufacturing path to be implemented. The report in the beginning mentions the procedure of the aspect and represents its required characteristics. The materials and creation process selection is then completed based on the supposed use. A detailed explanation is provided in the long run about the selected manufacturing road.


The crankshaft is the part of an engine unit which converts reciprocating movement of the pistons into a rotary action. The rotary motion has the benefits that it can be used rotate the wheel of the car. Crankshaft is an essential aspect in reciprocating motors because, rotary movement is simpler to mobilize the automobile in which reciprocating engines is installed. Crankshafts are equipped with crankpins and additional bearing areas. The axis of bearing surfaces is offset from the crank.

During operation, crankshafts are subjected to following mechanical stresses:

Bending stresses credited to up and down motion of pistons.

Torsion stresses credited to rotation of crankshaft and transmission of force to operate a vehicle train, which eventually transmit motion to various services.

Owing to reciprocating movement of the pistons, twisting pushes on crankshaft are always cyclic in aspect. Therefore, the stress tendencies is further complicated scheduled to frequent fatigue factor hence necessitating higher fatigue amount of resistance in the element.

Friction of bearing surfaces is also important during the procedure. The piston hands have to slip past the crankshaft surface. Therefore roller bearings are equipped between the sliding floors. However, as rpm of a typical engine gets to 4000-5000 during normal operation, a competent lubrication is incredibly essential for bearing. The crankshaft therefore contains slots for lubrication system.

Operating temperatures inside the engine unit is incredibly high. Therefore, the material should be so that it retains required mechanised properties at elevated temperature.

In order to curb pulsating behavior of reciprocating engines, crankshafts generally connect to flywheel. In certain situations, a vibration damper is also installed at the opposite end to reduce vibration.

Figure No 1: Engine motor Crankshaft Along with Connected Parts

The analysis presented in this report targets crankshaft production which is simple for large scale processing.

Figure No 2: CAD Drawing of the Camshaft


Based on the strain enforced on the part during the procedure, operating temps and intended procedure, the material to be preferred for this aspect should posses following characteristics:

The materials should be strong in bending

It will need to have excellent fatigue level of resistance.

The materials should be light weight such that it has small value of moment of inertia and transfer motion more efficiently.

It will need to have smaller coefficient of thermal growth so the component can keep its original aspect at varying temperatures.

The materials should be easily machineable so that it can take sophisticated shape (as necessary for the geometry of crankshaft) easily and without developing unnecessary tensions.

After undertaking an considerable research of materials, pursuing materials were brief shown for crankshaft:





Aluminum is an excellent machineable metal. It is light weight and can take complex shapes easily. Additionally, it can absorb vibration very proficiently. However, the metal has lower modulus of elasticity and higher coefficient of thermal enlargement. Therefore, it will be subjected to greater strains at higher stresses and high conditions. Moreover, it generally does not possess good resistance to fatigue lots and corrosion.


Copper have very good corrosion immune properties. It is easily machineable and has high durability. Moreover, it can have good surface finish off which shows helpful in attaining reduced friction properties. However, the biggest disadvantage of copper is that it's no corrosion resistant. Corrosion rate is significantly higher at higher heat. It is therefore, not considered ideal for the planned use.


Steel is another option to be used as a material for camshaft. Material is a much better choice because, it possess excellent mechanical characteristics which suits best with the functional requirements of engine camshaft. It gets the highest modulus of elasticity. It really is tough, strong, common, cheap and it offers very less coefficient of thermal development which makes it suitable for high temperature operation. However, metal itself has a big number of variants which posses large selection of properties. Therefore, selection of most appropriate type of steel is also very important.

An option for crankshaft material is carbon material. However, these steels require additional temperature treatments to obtain required level of strength.

Iron crankshaft is also an option. However, flat iron cannot take higher loads therefore, iron crankshafts are suitable for low output motors where tensions are lower. They have got the advantage of being low cost.

In fact, the most widely used materials for crankshaft worldwide is Vanadium Microalloyed steel. It has subsequent advantages:

Vanadium Microalloyed steel can be air cooled after reaching high strengths without further heat therapy. However, surface hardening is necessary for the bearing surfaces.

Low alloy content also makes the material cheaper than high alloy steels.


Crankshafts can be manufactured using pursuing methods:


Forging and casting

These functions are discussed separately in the lines below.

Machining Process

Machining is just one more process that can be used to create crankshafts. Crankshafts can be machined out of any billet, often utilizing a bar of high quality vacuum re-melted steel. Machining process has following advantages:

Higher quality of steels, which can't be forged can be used through machining process.

No expensive tooling is necessary for machining process.

Extremely high quality crankshafts can be created.

However, machining process also has following negatives:

It is an extremely expensive process because; it generally uses high quality material. Moreover, a substantial quantity of materials is also thrown away during machining process.

Additional heat treatments are required to get required material properties.

Forging and Casting Process

Forging is the hottest process for making crankshafts today. It is due to the following reasons:

The aspect has lighter weight

The forged shafts have better damping characteristics

More compact sizes can be achieved

The camshaft is a intricate component. Therefore, it is not feasible to produce the complete part using a one process. Instead, the production process comprises of multiple steps encompassing various machining, milling, forging and heat treatment operations. The facts are outlined in the next section.


Following is the in depth outline of creation process determined for the camshaft:

The raw metallic are necessary for a diameter range between 2. 125" to 2. 5" and 20ft long (Number No 1 in Appendix 'A').

The raw metallic pubs are then fired up a lathe to remove the abrasive surface and then minimize into the proper lengths with regards to the engine size (Shape No 2 in Appendix 'A').

Subsequently, the steel begins the procedure to become a camshaft as both publications and lobes are lower and evenly spaced out.

The Camshafts are then stack up and are ready for the copper plating (Figure No 3 in Appendix 'A'). The copper plating is done to keep carefully the material from becoming brittle and helps straighten the camshaft after the heat dealing with process.

Once the copper is applied, the publications are lathe right down to the width that is necessary (Physique No 4 in Appendix 'A'). The surfaces are then done.

Next, a special lobe milling machine is utilized to build the lift for the cam. These CNC machines use computerize programs that permit the manufacture to generate the desired lobe and are exact at 0. 0001 of an inch (Figure No 5 in Appendix 'A').

Once the cams are about cut, they are put in a furnace for warmth treating. This technique hardens the metal making the cam less likely to warp or snap when put under the strain of an engine.

After heat treating, the journals go through their last grounding level and are milled to the correct dimensions (Number No 6 in Appendix 'A').

Following the publications are the lobes. They may be grounded and refined to provide a smooth surface which reduces friction in the engine, freeing up horse power.

The previous process uses a computerized scanning device that checks the tolerances on the cams. Ensuring every lobe and journal are exactly the same.

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